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You can watch two series based on these 50 projects - 'Art 50' & 'The British'.


Sarah Maple's painting 'Empire' has joined the permanent collection at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Art 50 Artist Sarah Maple created the work 'Empire' to look at her personal past within the context of the British Empire. Exhibited during the Art 50 festival at the Baltic in Gateshead, it has now been accepted into the permanent collection at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

''I’m overjoyed to announce my painting ‘The Past Is Now’ is now part of the permanent collection @birmingham_mag. I made this work in response to ‘What does it mean to be British?’ for @skyarts and was exhibited @balticgateshead 2019. This is a portrait of me with my parents. This work came about from my frustration over recent years with this idea of who has the ‘right’ to call Britain home. I think there is a huge lack of understanding of our own history. This painting explores the complex role of the British Empire in the construction of Modern British culture and identity.

You can see more about her journey to painting this piece for Art 50 here.

To follow Sarah Maple on instagram click here


'The Gathering' reunites artists for final Art 50 project

The Sage, Gateshead played host to 'The Gathering' on the 19th September which brought together some of the Art 50 artists funded by the scheme to look at what it means to be British in the light of the EU referendum. Dr Kate Craddock played host to a fantastic day where people had an opportunity to reflect on their projects and engage with the other artists. It was truly heartwarming to see how well so many had done out of this amazing funding initiative, personally and professionally.

There were also representatives from partners Storyvault Films, The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Barbican as the day was an opportunity to see how arts funding and commissioning schemes like this can help institutions develop and engage a wider range of artists across the UK, across genres and across classes.

The artists were invited to create a quick 'Manifesto for the Arts' which was live streamed on the day from Sage, Gateshead and can be seen below. It was nerve-wracking but they all managed to create something moving, positive and/or funny.


'The British' on Sky Arts

We hope you enjoyed 'The British' on Sky Arts. Presented by Vick Hope and containing many of the artists commissioned as part of 'Art 50', the full series is 'on demand' so do check it out on Catch Up TV.

Subjects looked at in this six part series include British values, youth, race, class, sense of humour and the nations that form the current union.


'The British' on Sky Arts - continues tonight

'The British' presented by Vick Hope continues on Sky Arts tonight at 11pm with two episodes looking at Race and Class in the UK today.

Featuring outstanding artists across all genres - from Nitin Sawhney to John Godber to Dreda Say Mitchell.


'The British' on Sky Arts - begins tonight

The British presented by Vick Hope begins tonight Monday 3rd June at 11pm on Sky Arts.

The series focusses on the different themes explored by Art 50 projects commissioned to look at what it means to be British in the light of Brexit.

Episode 1 looks at British Values - as seen by dogs in pubs in animation 'Mad Dogs' by Gadzooks, as written and filmed by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage in his epic 'The Brink', and finally as heard in 'Magniloquent Cartilage' a modern day take on the Magna Carta, featuring 12 steps to a new constitutino and a better future by Lemn Sissay - recent winner of the PEN Pinter Award. The latter was a collaboration with Salisbury Cathedral which featured a parallel light installation by Mary Branson.

Episode 2 at 11:30pm looks at the generation gap exposed by the EU referendum in the UK today. Artists exploring this include Boy Blue with their dance film 'REBEL', Common Vision with their visual arts project 'Rebranding Britishness' and many school age poets around the British Isles and GIbraltar, telling us about life where they live in 'School Britannia'.

Click on the project links for more details.



Did you see the four episodes of Art 50? If not, go to Catch Up TV - and select Sky Arts

The Sound of Britain for the music and dance projects

A Picture of Britain for a feast of visual art

Britain on Film for the shorts from film makers around the UK

The Voice of Britain for works from poets and playwrights - both well known and up and coming


Get your free tickets to see Nitin Sawhney, Boy Blue and Lemn Sissay at the Art 50 festival at the Barbican now!

Come watch our Art 50 artists. Book here for Nitin Sawhney, Boy Blue and Lemn Sissay


The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and Sage Gateshead announce the Sky Arts ART 50 Weekender this February 23rd and 24th

Sky Arts has commissioned 50 projects looking at what it means to be British. Many of these are yours to experience for free at the Baltic and Sage Gateshead 'Art Weekender' on the 23rd and 24th February 2019. From visual art to dance to music to photography to plays. Check out the links for further details and how to book your place on the most exciting artistic event coming up!


This is an Island? premiere sold out!

Dancexchange show for Art 50 'This is an Island?' opened to a packed audience at the Birmingham School of Art last night.


New 'Postcard from the Future' for England from Dreda Say Mitchell

We're excited to announce that Dreda Say Mitchell and her partner Tony Mason are writing the 'Postcard from the Future' for England. These will be performed at the Barbican during OpenFest:Art 50 on the 23rd February and will be shown on Sky Arts on the 29th March 2019.

'Postcards from the Future' are monologues written and performed from the perspective of 50 years from now in a post-Brexit Britain: what will the UK look like?

Dreda and Tony follow AL Kennedy and Paul McVeigh who are writing their monologues for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

We'll be announcing the final Welsh one very soon!


Lyrix Organix at the Sage Gateshead

ART 50 artist Chloe Florence debuted her spoken word poem on Britishness post-Brexit at the Sage, Gateshead as part of a fantastic night from Lyrix Organix.

Passionate poetry, great stagecraft, killing drums! Check out our instagram feed for pics of the night.


The Barbican have announced the Art 50 festival on the 23rd February

The Barbican have announced the line up for the Art 50 festival, funded by Sky Arts, held on the 23rd February 2018

To view the confirmed line up click


Tickets for DanceXChange project 'This is an Island?' directed by Gary Clarke are available now

Performances take place 29th November through to 1st December at the Birmingham School of Art.

Book here


New 'Postcard from the Future' commission by Northern Irish writer Paul McVeigh

Northern Irish writers are in the news at the moment since Anna Burns was announced as the Man Booker prize winner. So you may want to check out this gem! We are hugely excited to announce that Paul McVeigh, whose moving and funny novel 'The Good Boy' based in Belfast touched all our hearts, has joined the Art 50 artists.


Pics in from Huntington Gardens shoot

The news is in from the Wade Bros Productions - Huntington Gardens featuring the wonderful Kacey Ainsworth has wrapped.


First Look at 'Brand Identities' Products for Millennial Britons

Common Vision have released some designs for their products that aim to 'rebrand Britishness.'


'This Is An Island?' creators Gary Clarke and DanceXchange on BBC WM!

Choreographer Gary Clarke and DanceXchange were invited to discuss Art 50 commission, This Is An Island? on BBC West Midlands radio.


Britbot at the V&A

Art 50 artist Libby Heaney took the Britbot to audiences at the V&A Digital Design Weekend.


School Britannia has begun!

Our first two school poetry workshops have taken place in England and Scotland.